A Quick Look In The Toilet Can Tell You If You’re Healthy!

Did you know the average person generates about five TONS of stool in
his or her lifetime? Turns out, there is much to be learned from this
mountain of poop.

our bodily emissions are an important health topic that deserves serious
attention, regardless of the “ick factor.” In fact, if you ignore what
you deposit in your toilet, you could be flushing your health down the
drain!


LOOK, LISTEN AND SMELL BEFORE YOU FLUSH

The shape, size, color, and other fecal features can tell you a great
deal about your overall health, how your gastrointestinal tract is
functioning, and even give you clues about serious disease processes
that could be occurring, like infections, digestive problems, and even
cancer.

The characteristics of your stool will tell you a good deal about how
happy and healthy your digestive tract is – the color, odor, shape,
size, and even the sound it makes when it hits the water and whether
it’s a “sinker” or a “floater” are all relevant information

What’s normal and what’s not when you look into the toilet?

The following table will help you narrow down what to look for so that
you aren’t needlessly alarmed. Of course, there are a few signs that ARE
cause for concern, and those are listed too. If you have a change in
stools accompanied by abdominal pain, please report this to your
physician

Your bodily emissions are an important health topic that deserves
serious attention, regardless of the “ick factor.” In fact, if you
ignore what you deposit in your toilet, you could be flushing your
health down the drain!

LOOK, LISTEN AND SMELL BEFORE YOU FLUSH

The shape, size, color, and other fecal features can tell you a great
deal about your overall health, how your gastrointestinal tract is
functioning, and even give you clues about serious disease processes
that could be occurring, like infections, digestive problems, and even
cancer.

The characteristics of your stool will tell you a good deal about how
happy and healthy your digestive tract is – the color, odor, shape,
size, and even the sound it makes when it hits the water and whether
it’s a “sinker” or a “floater” are all relevant information

What’s normal and what’s not when you look into the toilet?

The following table will help you narrow down what to look for so that
you aren’t needlessly alarmed. Of course, there are a few signs that ARE
cause for concern, and those are listed too. If you have a change in
stools accompanied by abdominal pain, please report this to your
physician.

Healthy Stool Unhealthy Stool
Medium to light brown Stool that is hard to pass, painful, or requires straining
Smooth and soft, formed into one long shape and not a bunch of pieces Hard lumps and pieces, or mushy and watery, or even pasty and difficult to clean off
About one to two inches in diameter and up to 18 inches long Narrow, pencil-like or ribbon-like stools:
can indicate a bowel obstruction or tumor – or worst case, colon
cancer; narrow stools on an infrequent basis are not so concerning, but
if they persist, definitely warrant a call to your physician
S-shaped, which comes from the shape of your lower intestine Black, tarry stools or bright red stools may
indicate bleeding in the GI tract; black stools can also come from
certain medications, supplements or consuming black licorice; if you
have black, tarry stools, it’s best to be evaluated by your healthcare
provider
Quiet and gentle dive into the water…it should fall
into the bowl with the slightest little “whoosh” sound – not a loud, wet
cannonball splash that leaves your toosh in need of a shower
White, pale or gray stools may
indicate a lack of bile, which may suggest a serious problem
(hepatitis, cirrhosis, pancreatic disorders, or possibly a blocked bile
duct), so this warrants a call to your physician; antacids may also
produce white stool
Natural smell, not repulsive (I’m not saying it will smell good) Yellow stools may
indicate giardia infection, a gallbladder problem, or a condition known
as Gilbert’s syndrome – if you see this, call your doctor
Uniform texture Presence of undigested food (more of a concern if accompanied by diarrhea, weight loss, or other changes in bowel habits)
Sinks slowly Floaters or splashers
Increased mucus in stool:
This can be associated with inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s
disease, or ulcerative colitis, or even colon cancer, especially if
accompanied by blood or abdominal pain

The Bristol Stool Chart is a handy tool that may help you learn what
you’re going for. Ideally, your stool should approximate Types 3, 4 and
5, “like a sausage or a snake, smooth and soft” to “soft blobs that pass
easily.” Type 4 is the Holy Grail.


DOES YOUR STOOL HAVE A REALLY BAD ODOR?

If your stool has an extraordinarily bad odor, it should not be ignored.
Stinky stool can be associated with a number of health problems, such
as:

  • A malabsorptive disorder
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU MOVE YOUR BOWELS?

Normal bowel habits vary. When we talk about regularity, what we’re
really talking about is what’s regular for you. Three bowel movements
per day to three per week is considered the normal range.

What’s more important than frequency is the ease with which you move
your bowels. If you need to push or strain, something is off – moving
your bowels should take no more effort than urinating or passing gas.

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